Originally Posted by two4ruff
I ordered a North Country 28 BHSS. It's supposed to be about 7300 dry. The truck is capable of 8600 since it has the Hemi and 3.92 gears. I do have an equalizer hitch and brake controller from my smaller 2007 Mallard 18CK. The Ram has the factory tow package and the stock transmission cooler looks to be about 8x12 inches. I have not yet taken delivery of the trailer and was interested to know what mods people have made to similar trucks to improve handling and all around towing.
Thanks in advance for the input.
Just my thoughts, others may disagree:
As others have said, actually weighing the rig is a really good idea. Move one axle at a time onto the scale if you can, and that way you know how each axle is loaded. Make sure no single axle is overloaded. Fiddle with the weight distributing hitch preload to get a good balance on the truck axles. A good "mod" would be LT tires with plenty of surplus load rating. You'll give up some quiet and smoothness when you're unloaded, but nothing bites worse than squirmy P-metric car tires pushed to the limit when towing. Spring for a good trailer sway damper too. More and bigger coolers are always good, but the factory tow package is pretty good IMO. You can add cold-air intakes and dual exhaust... but (don't tell anyone I said this...) its probably some of the least effective money you can spend on a modern truck- its not 1975 anymore and these aren't heavy-breathing big-bore big-block engines like 440s and 383s. Exhaust mods in particular are a weak bang for the buck spent unless you get radical and add headers. A GOOD CAI (not all of them really lower intake air temp and some even raise it) can help more than changing the factory exhaust.
The other thing (probably the most important) is you're own driving discipline. You're going to be really close to your trucks limits, so be patient, don't expect to blast up every hill at cruise speed. Mountain passes will be an exercise in driving with the tach instead of the speedometer and letting other people pass. I did some towing with my 4.7 1500 this summer (only about 3000 lb trailer weight), and found that re-adjusting my attitude, getting used to running with OD off (even tow-haul mode wasn't low enough sometimes), and being courteous to other drivers so I wasn't a moving speed bump made the whole trip more enjoyable. The truck did great, temps never budged above normal, etc... it just didn't do much of anything in a great hurry! :-)
Oh and one other thing I'm kindof a jerk about when it comes to trailers and tire salespeople: HAVE THE DANG TRAILER TIRES BALANCED!! Tire stores seem to always try to tell you that you don't need to balance trailer tires, I guess because you can't feel the imbalance in the tow vehicle. Here's why I think that's a load of manure: The trailer doesn't have shocks on their axles. Any imbalance in a trailer tire is NOT going to be damped out the way an imbalance on the vehicle tire backed by a shock absorber would be. At some speeds, the tire might start literally bouncing. Even if its not that bad, it will always be applying extra effective weight to ONE spot on the tire, and that leads to heat and failures. I have BEEN THERE and SEEN THAT, and also seen the difference when you do have the trailer tires balanced. The very fact that you CAN'T feel a trailer tire misbehaving is the very most important reason to make sure it doesn't misbehave in the first place!